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Archive for September, 2008

Then and Now – View from Hotel de Oriente

Posted by BCS on September 30, 2008

As I’ve mentioned in yesterday’s post, I was quite surprised when I found out what the view was like from the windows at the back of Hotel de Oriente in 1890 considering that Plaza Calderon de la Barca was already pretty much developed at the time.

With Hotel de Oriente fronting the plaza, it could only mean that the hotel’s back was facing towards the direction of C.M. Recto Avenue of today (considering that Hotel de Oriente’s building’s footprint was rectangular). If you’ve been to that area, I think you’d be as surprised as I was.

This was the view from Hotel de Oriente in 1890:

//www.lib.umich.edu/)

View from Hotel de Oriente in 1890 (courtesy of http://www.lib.umich.edu/)

Current map showing the location of what was once the Hotel de Oriente (map courtesy of www.directorymanila.net).

Current map showing the location of what was once the Hotel de Oriente (map courtesy of http://www.directorymanila.net).

And here’s how the area looks now:

This is what the surroundings of Alvarado Street in Binondo looks like as of September 27, 2008 (as viewed from the bridge on Reina Regente Street). It really has not changed much in the past decade or so...

This is what the surroundings of Alvarado Street in Binondo looks like as of September 27, 2008 (as viewed from the bridge on Reina Regente Street). It really has not changed much in the past decade or so...

Map showing the area seen in the above photo (map courtesy of www.directorymanila.net).

Map showing the area seen in the above photo (map courtesy of http://www.directorymanila.net).

And this:

This is what the surroundings of Alvarado Street in Binondo looks like as of September 27, 2008. It really has not changed much in the past decade or so...

This is what the surroundings of Alvarado Street in Binondo looks like as of September 27, 2008. It really has not changed much in the past decade or so...

Map showing the area seen in the above photo (map courtesy of www.directorymanila.net).

Map showing the area seen in the above photo (map courtesy of http://www.directorymanila.net).

Note (on the use of old images):

Based on the “Access and Use Policy” on http://www.lib.umich.edu/ (from which I got the old image):

“Users are free to cite and link to digital content without asking for permission.

Users are free to download, copy, and distribute works in the public domain without asking for permission. To determine whether a work is in the public domain, see the section on the public domain of the Copyright & Fair Use site of Stanford University Libraries.”

Regarding “public domain”:

“ABSOLUTELY FREE! MUSIC, TEXT AND ART!! COPY ALL YOU WANT!! If you saw an advertisement like this, you might wonder, “What’s the catch?” When it comes to the public domain, there is no catch. If a book, song, movie or artwork is in the public domain, then it is not protected by intellectual property laws (such as copyright, trademark or patent law) –which means it’s free for you to use without permission.

As a general rule, most works enter the public domain because of old age. This includes any work published in the United States before 1923. Another large block of works are in the public domain because they were published before 1964 and copyright was not renewed. (Renewal was a requirement for works published before 1978.) A smaller group of works fell into the public domain because they were published without copyright notice (copyright notice was necessary for works published in the United States before March 1, 1989). Some works are in the public domain because the owner has indicated a desire to give them to the public without copyright protection. The rules establishing the public domain status for each of these types of works are different and more details are provided throughout this chapter.”

Regarding “fair use”:

“In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose such as to comment upon, criticize or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Another way of putting this is that fair use is a defense against infringement. If your use qualifies under the definition above, and as defined more specifically in this section, then your use would not be considered an illegal infringement.”

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Posted in History, Then and Now | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Then and Now – Hotel de Oriente in Binondo

Posted by BCS on September 29, 2008

//www.lib.utexas.edu/).

Partial Map of Binondo (1898) - Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/).

Some say it was constructed in the 1850s, and some claims it to be the first hotel to be built in the Philippines. But then, in her book “Three Centuries of Binondo Architecture”, author Lorelei D.C. De Viana mentions about Hotel de Oriente being opened some time in January 1889. She also mentioned about a city ordinance issued in 1869 that ordered for structures which are to be built at street corners to have chaflans to allow the easy maneuvering of carriages… and chaflans the Hotel had.

Moreover, the Fabrica de Puros stood on this site until the abolition of the tobacco monopoly in 1880.

//www.lib.umich.edu/).

Hotel de Oriente in Binondo (1902) - Courtesy of Stanford University Libraries (http://www.lib.umich.edu/).

The Site of Hotel de Oriente as of September 27, 2008

The Site of Hotel de Oriente as of September 27, 2008

Anyway, there’s no doubt that the Hotel de Oriente of Don Manuel Perez was a first-class hotel, and the only one at the time in the entire archipelago.

It had 83 rooms, one of which (specifically Room 22) was where Jose Rizal reportedly stayed upon his return from Hong Kong in 1892. Basing from what I’ve read on www.txtmania.com, Room 22 was one of the rooms located on the right side of the hotel and, as such, would have a view of the La Insular Cigarette and Cigar Factory from its window(s).

//www.lib.umich.edu/).

Hotel de Oriente in Binondo (1902) - Courtesy of Stanford University Libraries (http://www.lib.umich.edu/).

The Site of Hotel de Oriente as of September 27, 2008

The Site of Hotel de Oriente as of September 27, 2008

Considering that Plaza Calderon de la Barca (now Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz) was already pretty much developed at that time, I was quite surprised when I “saw” the view from one of the windows at the back of the hotel, but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post.

Last night, as I was doing my research for this post, I stumbled upon NYPL Digital Gallery’s website that had images of Hotel de Oriente’s menus.

For breakfast (menu dated September 18, 1900), it served fresh fruits, oatmeal mush, cream toast, “Findon Haddock”, Spanish Omelette”, “Smoked Chipped Beef in Cream”, sirloin steak and fried potatoes, mutton chops, broiled bacon, “fried mush”, calves’ liver and onions, sugar cured ham, eggs (boiled, fried, scrambled, or poached), boiled potatoes, how rolls, dry toast, graham bread, wheat bread, hot cakes with maple syrup, marmalade, jam, tea, coffee, chocolate, and cocoa.

For lunch (menu dated September 19, 1900), it served cream of cauliflower soup, fried shad in tartar sauce, chicken a la Colorado, pork chops in piquant sauce, curried giblet and rice, baked potatoes, asparagus with durke dressing salad, chicory salad, green onions salad, smoked herring, boiled ox tongue, boiled ham, roast beef, bologna sausage, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, preserved peaches, lunch cake, cheddar cheese, fresh fruit, iced tea, tea, coffee, and chocolate.

Meal hours were 6:30 am to 9:30 am for breakfast, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm for lunch, and 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm for dinner.

Meals served in rooms were charged with 50 cents extra.

The hotel’s building was later used as the office of Philippine Constabulary, American Circulating Library, Official Gazette, and the Commercial Museum, before being destroyed during the Japanese occupation.

For more (blogs) on Hotel de Oriente, you can visit Señor Enrique’s “Wish You Were Here”, and “Traveler on Foot”.

Note (on the use of old images):

Based on the “Access and Use Policy” on http://www.lib.umich.edu/ (from which I got the old images):

“Users are free to cite and link to digital content without asking for permission.

Users are free to download, copy, and distribute works in the public domain without asking for permission. To determine whether a work is in the public domain, see the section on the public domain of the Copyright & Fair Use site of Stanford University Libraries.”

Regarding “public domain”:

“ABSOLUTELY FREE! MUSIC, TEXT AND ART!! COPY ALL YOU WANT!! If you saw an advertisement like this, you might wonder, “What’s the catch?” When it comes to the public domain, there is no catch. If a book, song, movie or artwork is in the public domain, then it is not protected by intellectual property laws (such as copyright, trademark or patent law) –which means it’s free for you to use without permission.

As a general rule, most works enter the public domain because of old age. This includes any work published in the United States before 1923. Another large block of works are in the public domain because they were published before 1964 and copyright was not renewed. (Renewal was a requirement for works published before 1978.) A smaller group of works fell into the public domain because they were published without copyright notice (copyright notice was necessary for works published in the United States before March 1, 1989). Some works are in the public domain because the owner has indicated a desire to give them to the public without copyright protection.

Regarding “fair use”:

“In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose such as to comment upon, criticize or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Another way of putting this is that fair use is a defense against infringement. If your use qualifies under the definition above, and as defined more specifically in this section, then your use would not be considered an illegal infringement.”

Posted in Architecture, History, Then and Now | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments »

Let’s Go for a Ride

Posted by BCS on September 28, 2008

A Mitsubishi Adventure utilized as a Mega Taxi

A Mitsubishi Adventure utilized as a Mega Taxi

View of the interior of an AUV Mega Taxi

View of the interior of an AUV Mega Taxi

As their “proper name” indicates, Mega Taxis (or FXs as they are popularly called now) were originally intended to serve the public as metered taxis. However, some time in the late 90s, someone had the brilliant idea of operating these public utility vehicles (PUV) as some sort of “higher-class” jeepneys.

At the onset of their new found business venture, the operators and/or drivers of these PUVs adapted the routes of jeepneys along the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Along with that, they imposed a minimum fare of P5.00 per person which has since rendered their meters useless.

The term “FX”, by the way, is derived from the name of Toyota’s successful brand of Asian Utility Vehicles (AUV), the Tamaraw FX which, at the time, were the most popular, if not, the only ones to be utilized as Mega Taxis. Nowadays, even after the introduction of various other AUV brands being used as Mega Taxis (e.g., Isuzu Crosswind, Mitsubishi Adventure, and the Tamaraw FX’s successor—the Toyota Revo), the term FX remains firmly attached to this mode of public transport.

The minimum fare for FXs is now set at 15 pesos, and increases at 5-peso incremements depending on the distance of the trip.

Posted in Transportation | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »